The local little League All-Star teams continued to show plenty of fight on Monday night, with all four winning their respective games to remain in contention for a section championship.
All four will be in action again on Tuesday.
Two of them will play for a championship, with the other two needing to win to set up a championship showdown on Wednesday.
“This team, they’re pretty impressive with their ability to fight,” manager Patrick Green said.
The Mack players took control of their game with three early runs, and they added four more in the fourth for a commanding lead.
And that was all the impressive Becker Rine and his defense would need.
Rine made his first start for the team on the mound and dominated, allowing just one infield hit in five innings and striking out 10.
“He did absolutely amazing,” Green said. “I’m very proud of the work he’s put in and the level he’s got his pitching to.”
He got plenty of help from his defense, including another spectacular diving catch from centerfielder Carson Hicks, who has made a habit of them this postseason.
“He’s really good out there for us,” Green said of the 11-year-old, who made the big catch in the fifth and has been inspiring his teammates with his defensive play. “He’s played every game. He’s an important piece for us.”
Hicks also had a hit and a walk and scored a run.
Tate Saso and Bowdy Hicks each also had a big double, as eight different Mack players accounted for the eight team hits, including Colton Adams, who had his first base hit of the postseason with a well hit line drive single.
McKinleyville, which improved to 4-1 in tournament play, will play Susanville again on Tuesday night, this time for the championship.
The Mack 10s, meanwhile, defeated Red Bluff 10-0 in four innings in Chico, one day after dropping a close game to the same team in extra innings.
The impressive Hudson Kapko pitched 3.1 strong innings in the win and struck out three, before Teoh Arredondo came in to seal the win and struck out two for the final two outs.
Both pitchers also had a big day at the plate, with Arredondo finishing 2-for-3 with a triple, a walk and three runs, and Kapko going 2-for-2 with a walk and three runs.
Kapko rounded out a big all-around day with several key plays defensively on balls hit hard at him.
Breyden Brook also had a double, while Liam Currell was 2-for-2 with a walk and two runs.
After playing just seven innings in their past two games combined, the Mack 10s are set up nicely for the championship round with their pitching.
Arredondo will get the start on the mound against Chico West on Tuesday night, with Kapko available for a true championship showdown on Wednesday if they win.
Despite scoring 35 runs in their past three games, McKinleyville manager Carlos Avelar feels his players are capable of hitting the ball better.
Defensively, however, they have impressed.
“We’re playing great defense,” Avelar said. “They’re making all the plays.”
The Eel River 11s, meanwhile, lost for the first time in tourney play on Monday, falling 13-4 to West Redding.
The two teams will play again in a true championship game on Tuesday night, at 6 p.m. at Rohner Park in Fortuna.
And the host team is set up nicely for the game with standout Mason Long set to take the mound.
“We have good pitching left, so we should be in good shape,” manager Brandon Long said.
Teyler Bailey had a couple of nice hits in Monday’s loss, while Kayden Crawford had a big base hit to pull his team back into the game at 5-4.
Ultimately, however, the Eel River bats never really got going and were unable to come up the timely hits late in the game
The Mack Junior All-Stars also won on Monday, defeating Yreka 14-10 in Willows.
The victory keeps the McKinleyville All-Stars alive and sets up a rematch with Sutter-Area, which defeated them 7-6 in eight innings on Sunday.